FoCo Health Department helping citizens to get tested in honor of World AIDS Day

Justine Lookenott

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World AIDS Day is on December 1Photo byHIV.gov

(Forsyth County, GA) World AIDS Day is marked each year on December 1 and acts as a day of solidarity for those afflicted with HIV around the world. In honor of the day, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) District 2 will provide free HIV testing on that same day.

More than 32 million people worldwide have died from AIDS-related illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1,189,700 people in the United States had HIV at the end of 2019, of whom only 87 percent knew they were infected. In Georgia, there are about 27.6 cases of HIV per 100,000 people, with 2,439 new cases reported in 2020.

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A map of new HIV diagnoses in the US in 2020Photo byCDC

However, infected people who take HIV medicine can have an undetectable viral load and live normal lives.

The 2022 national campaign theme for World AIDS Day is “I am a Work of ART.” The theme encourages people with HIV who are not currently undergoing treatment “to seek care, stay in care, and achieve viral suppression by taking antiretroviral therapy (ART),” according to a press release from the Georgia DPH.

Along with free HIV testing on Thursday, December 1, the District 2 DPH also offers several kinds of confidential testing options, including rapid HIV tests and at-home test kits. These tests can be picked up for free at the Forsyth County Health Department.

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A map of the rate of HIV diagnoses by region in the US for 2020Photo byCDC

Mail-order HIV test kits can also be ordered through the DPH’s self-testing resource page.

For more information on World AIDS Day and HIV prevention, visit cdc.gov and worldaidsday.org.

If you have a news tip in Forsyth County, contact Justine Lookenott at justine.lookenott@newsbreak.com.

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I cover local news in Forsyth County, GA. My debut into the writing world began at the age of 10 when I won an essay contest in Around Acworth Magazine in which I wrote about spending the summer with my pet goat, Eclair. Since graduating from Kennesaw State University, I have been published in several newspapers and magazines in the Atlanta area including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Atlanta School Guide, What Now Atlanta, Newcomer Magazine, the Marietta Daily Journal and the Cherokee Tribune.

Forsyth County, GA
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